Humanus - a legend awakes
Reader discretion is advised.
I have always enjoyed letting my imagination run riot. Putting these images into writing has been a personal thing, but as my desire to write grew, so did the desire to share some of my stories.
I am not a professional and feedback is always welcome.
This story does have some material which some readers may find offensive and should be restricted to readers over the age of 18.
A legend awakes.
Evil is what separates humans from all known species on Earth. The ability to instil fear, reign terror, inflict pain and cause destruction makes them unique.
In the 9th millennium BC the largest group of Hūmānus, known as Eurasian’s were a self-indulgent race, fattening themselves on the abundance of food, wine and ample trade from those that chose to remain nomadic.
As the population of Gobekli grew, drawn in by the rich and lazy lifestyle, King Goa ordered the capture and enslavement of the forest dwelling Pithecusian’s. The Pithecusian’s were taller and stronger than the Eurasian’s, but their placid nature made them ideal workers. The King also ordered the capture and enslavement of the Troglasian’s, an extremely violent cave dwelling group of Hūmānus that were used for entertainment in the arena.
After centuries of enslavement and the constant diet of raw Eurasian’s sent to their deaths in the arena, the Troglasian’s broke free from their cages. The ensuing slaughter of over seven thousand Eurasian’s took less than a day.
Today, one surviving Troglasian was allegedly laid to rest. Documented in what is widely perceived to be fictional, Bram Stoker was commissioned to write the book as a guide, almost a manual to future generations, should this creature ever return to this world.
Only a few knew the real story, but with the scientific knowledge of genetics, and the possibility of superior strength, agility, speed, and ultimately immortality, the letters used by Bram Stoker as the basis for his story lay in an underground British military intelligence vault where a team of scientists constantly reviewed them for clues as to the whereabouts of Count Dracula’s tomb.
J. K. Harker
The two beams of light, unable to penetrate far through the constant mass of wildly dancing raindrops, did little to aid the driver navigate the winding country road. The deep torrent constantly tugging at the wheels made it difficult, even at such a slow speed, to keep the car on the road. Twice, in as many miles Kevin found himself sliding on the grassy verge.
The reflective road sign was a welcome sight as he came to a stop at the junction.
To the left was the site, to the right, the village of Cruden Bay.
Kevin sat back in his seat. He arched his back, letting out a low groan then looking at the clock, 14:16, he debated. After a moment’s thought, even though the dry warmth of the Hotel was tempting, he turned the wheel and headed left, only to stop again a few yards on.
The burn had burst its banks. The swirling water flowed around the edge of the stone wall at the side of the bridge, across the road and off into the darkness.
With the wipers on full, Kevin lent over the steering wheel, squinted and peered into the rain. He could just make out the centre of the bridge, and estimated that the water could not be too deep.
As he edged the car forward he could feel his heart thumping heavy in his chest, a cold sweat engulf him as he felt a tug on the wheel. The high engine revs were now audible above the unending drum of rain drops as the car inched forward.
With a loud sigh he stopped on the bridge surveying the next torrent. He swallowed as he lifted the clutch once more.
His anxieties started to ebb, his breathing became easier and his heart slowed as he reached the other side. After wiping his sweaty palm on his leg he changed gear and slowly drove up the hill.
The road was wider here. Kevin concentrated on the white lines in the centre where there was less water flowing over the black surface. His hand rested on the gear leaver, ready to change if the need arose.
It took just over ten minutes for Kevin to drive the one and a half mile to the site entrance. Stopping almost parallel with the gravel entrance Kevin checked his mirrors before reversing. He put his turn signal on, put the car into first gear and started to turn.
From out of the darkness, two bright headlights appeared to his left. Knowing the limited visibility, he panicked, putting his foot hard on the accelerator. The wheels spun ferociously as he stared directly at the bright circular lights. He was pushed back in his seat as the wheels gripped and the car lurched forward. He was thrown forward as the wheels hit the shallow curb, then back into his seat as they bit into the gravel sending stones hammering around the wheel arch.
Kevin turned his focus on the direction of the car, fighting with the wheel.
The sound of impact was deafening. Kevin was thrown sideways as the rear of the car lifted and whipped around, and then slammed back against the door as the rear wheels hit the dirt and all momentum abruptly stopped.
For a while he just sat. The only sounds were his heavy breathing, barely audible above the drum of the raindrops. With slow deliberate movement he lifted his hand from the steering wheel and touched the bump on the side of his head. Then sliding both hands around the back of his neck he tilted his head back and arched his back away from the seat.
“Welcome to fuckin’ Scotland,” he muttered to himself.
Shuffling around in his seat he looked out the back window, then rubbed the condensation away from the side window to peer out. There was no sign of the vehicle that hit him.
The engine had stalled. He turned the key. The lights dimmed, but the engine did not start. He turned the lights off and tried again. Still nothing happened. Sitting stern faced, he watched the water run down the windscreen.
With a loud sigh he reached over for his jacket, unclipped his seat belt and opened the door. The wind took it from his hand and the rain lashed in. He switched the hazard lights on, took his keys, and stepped out sliding one arm into his jacket. His foot sunk to his ankle in a muddy puddle. The cold water running into his shoe sent a shiver through his body. He swore under his breath. With yet another sigh he swivelled his body out of the car and tried to step on some drier ground before slamming the door shut.
Once Kevin’s eyes adjusted to the dull gloom, he could make out where the puddles were. He stepped onto the first visible mound as he pulled his jacket on, then onto the next.
The rain lashed at the back of his neck, by the time he took the next step he felt totally drenched.
The ground was sodden, his foot sunk into the mud and the water rushed in around his ankle. He swore.
Resigned to the fact that he could do nothing to stay dry, he walked quickly towards the site gates that shone with each amber flash of the lights behind him.
He shook the rain from his face as he saw a shadowy figure. He wiped his eyes and held his hand above them, but the figure had gone.
Glancing down at the ground he moved forward, searching ahead. The figure reappeared some ten feet in front of him.
“Hello.” He shouted over the sound of the rain and wind, but there was no reply. He quickened his pace and shouted again. Still there was no reply.
After a couple of more steps a faint light caught his eye to the right, but the figure seemed to be beckoning him to follow in the opposite direction. He walked on towards the figure, but the cold wind sent yet another shiver down his spine. He stopped, glanced towards the light, then back towards the figure.
It took just a second to decide that the lure of some warmth was more important than chasing some idiot in the pouring rain. He turned and ran towards the light. As he reached the steps to the port-a-kabin he turned back and peered intently into the rain. There was no sign of the figure.
Kevin jumped up the steps and burst through the door, slamming it behind him, much to the shock of the security guard.
“Jesus-Christ,” he exclaimed jumping to his feet, sending the chair crashing to the floor. “Ye just about gave me heart failure.”
Kevin was in no mood for apologies. He shook the water off his jacket, threw it over the back of a chair and stood in front of the heater, rubbing his hands. He turned around and lent against the wall, absorbing as much heat as possible. He breathed in slow and deep, held it and let it out with a snort.
Wiping the excess water from his face he noticed the security guard nervously standing at his desk, his eyes flicking between Kevin and the door. It was as though he was calculating a means of escape.
Kevin felt compelled to say something, but at that moment a bright light illuminated the window from outside. The building shook as a very large man burst in through the door, brandishing a heavy wooden stick.
He glared at Kevin, then at the security guard, who sank to the floor.
Kevin, wide eyed, shuffled sideways along the wall until he could go no further. His eyes searched around him for something to defend himself.
There was a long silence as the man’s eyes searched the room, from wall to wall, floor to ceiling.
Looking through Kevin, the man scrutinised every corner of the room.
Thunder boomed above, rattling the glass in the windows.
Everyone looked up.
The security guard muttered something before making the sign of the cross in front of him and burying his face in his hands.
“Where is it?” the man bellowed at the security guard.
The security guard, with shaking finger pointed at Kevin.
“Who the hell are you?” the man demanded as he turned his attention towards him.
Kevin swallowed hard, “Kevin… Kevin Harker.”
The man’s eyebrows closed over his nose.
“I’m the new construction manager,” he continued quickly.
A crooked smile crept on the man’s face, puffing up his cheek. His shoulders relaxed as he put the stick down. He moved forward with a greeting hand outstretched. His heavy steps shook the very fabric of room.
“Calum Stewart, Site supervisor…” he glanced at the cowering security guard, “body guard an slayer of demons,” he said, as his smile evened out to puff out both cheeks.
Kevin hesitated before accepting his hand, instantly wishing he hadn’t as he winced at the force of his grip.
“Welcome to the mad house,” Calum said, with a hearty chuckle.
Kevin did not reply. Instead he concentrated on flexing his fingers, checking that nothing was broken.
“Ye sure ye’re the new man, look a bit young to me.” Calum stated.
“I’m 27.” He replied, slightly offended.
“Ye look like a drowned rat, where’s ye gear?” Calum asked, ignoring the statement of his age.
“In the car,” he replied with one last finger flexing exercise.
“And ye car?”
With a loud sigh and a shiver, Kevin moved back to the radiator and explained what had happened, then with a slight hesitation in his voice ask who was wandering around outside in this weather.
Calum turned his attention to the security guard, then back at Kevin. The smile grew on his face once more as he turned to pick up his stick. “Come on, let’s get ye stuff and go over to the office. I’ll tell ye all about it after ye get yeself comfy.”
The impact had jammed the car boot shut. Without a word Calum, leaned into the car, ripped the back seat forward and pulled Kevin’s bag out. “Come on.” He shouted as he slammed the door closed and started to run back towards the site.
Inside the office complex of Port-a-Kabin’s Calum showed Kevin to the changing room, dropped his bag on the floor and left.
Kevin emerged after a long hot shower. Feeling a little more relaxed, he met Calum in the canteen area where a hot cup of tea was waiting for him.
“Feeling better lad,” Calum said, not looking up from his paper.
“Yes, much better. Horrible weather.”
Calum laughed and folded his paper, “ye better get used to it lad, this is Scotland.”
Kevin turned a chair around, straddled across it and sat, leaning over the back. He took a sip of his tea.
Calum sat forward, resting his elbows on the table he asked if he wanted anything to eat, apologising that his choices were limited to chocolate bars or biscuits. Kevin declined the offer.
After a long pause Kevin put his empty cup down and said. “So, I suppose no one is working in this…” He pulled a face as he gazed out the window. “Weather.”
Calum shook his head, “no one’s working. Full stop.”
“What do you mean?”
“Exactly that. Everyone walked off the job just over a week ago.”
“Nobody told me that.”
“Not surprised, would ye have come if you knew?”
Kevin thought for a moment, “probably not.”
A muffled thud outside the window drew both their attentions. They watched as headlights illuminated the window, then sped past towards the exit.
“That leaves you and me. I had to pay him triple, just to get him to stay until ye got here.” Calum said, returning to his pose.
A deep look of confusion contorted Kevin’s face. “Why? What the hell is going on?”
“Before I try to explain why, or what is going on, or why we have no one working on site. I’ll answer your other question. There should be no one wandering around on site. Are ye sure ye saw someone?”
Kevin gave him a look of surprise. He hesitated slightly before confirming that he was sure that he saw someone.
Calum smiled, “have ye heard any rumours about this place… anything strange?”
Calum got up, “it might be easier to show ye. Come on,” he said, gesturing with his arm for Kevin to follow him.
They stood outside a door at the far end of the office complex. Calum unlocked it. “This is yer predecessor’s office, but ye won’t find any thing relating to work in here.” He took a deep breath and held it before pushing the door open.
Kevin stepped back with a gasp as the strong smell of garlic gushed out into the corridor. Calum, still holding his breath, walked in and opened the window. The wind blew through the office and soon made the air tolerable.
Kevin ventured in at Calum’s request. He stood in the doorway, astonished at what he saw. Garlic hung in clumps from the ceiling. There were large crucifixes on each wall, with smaller ones hanging from every vantage point. Two large mirrors were situated on opposite walls with a small free standing one on the desk and another on the cabinet. As he walked further into the office he noticed a small pile of around eight wooden stakes. Each approximately two to two and a half inches diameter, two foot long, with one end sharpened to a point. The points appeared blackened as though there had been charred in a fire. A heavy five pound hammer stood next to them.
The door slammed shut.
Kevin jumped, banging his leg on the desk. For a second they looked at each other. Kevin started to laugh, “Jesus, I’ve only been here five minutes and I’ve nearly had heart failure a dozen times.”
“Ye’ll get used to it.” Calum replied as he picked the mirror that had fell from the desk of the floor. “Hope ye’re not superstitious?” he continued as he showed Kevin the broken glass.
“One less to worry about,” he said as he put it back in the desk.
The sound of the rain seemed to grow, and a feeling of claustrophobia swept over Kevin, causing beads of sweat to form on his forehead as he felt his temperature rise. He took a deep breath to calm himself before opening the door, using the hammer to keep it in place. The cold rush of air past him made him shiver.
After a moment’s pause, Calum stated that the previous construction manager, Mr Abraham Smith, had been obsessed with Dracula ever since the first security guard went missing.
“What happened to him?” Kevin enquired.
“Who? The security guard, or Smithy?”
“No one knows about the security guard. He vanished and no one has seen him since, they’re still looking.” He closed the window slightly. “Smithy, he’s in jail. Awaiting trial for murder.”
“Murder? I thought he retired.”
Calum chuckled, “No, according to the police the old git went off his rocker, killed one of the scaffolder’s, drained his blood and hammered one of those stakes through his heart.” He said, as he pointed to the pile.
The colour drained from Kevin’s face and his knees started to buckle.
Calum grabbed hold of his arm and practically carried him out of the room. “Ye need sugar… and a nice cuppa’ tea.”
They sat quiet for quite some time before Calum asked, “ye okay? Ye don’t look too good”
Kevin finished his chocolate bar before replying, “It’s been a long day; I’ve been in the car for best part of 12 hours.” He sipped on his tea, “this weather and almost being run over by a truck doesn’t help.”
Calum smiled, “not to mention all this weird shit eh?” He added.
Kevin looked at him with a smile, which grew to a chuckle. Calum followed suit. Then they both started to laugh. They in turn pointed out various things that had happened since they met. The look on Kevin’s face as the door slammed, how Calum looked like a bear in heat as he burst into the security office brandishing a stick and so on.
Eventually they both started to calm, wiping tears from the corner of their eyes. Both trying not to laugh. Both failing as they caught each other’s gaze.
Calum, holding back a snigger, changed the subject. “So, what’s that hanging around your neck?”
Kevin’s eyes dropped downward as he lifted up his pendant into view. A small piece of wood, stained dark and encased in a clear resin. For an instant, he was serious as he held it gently between his fingers. He looked at Calum. Then in between a prolonged burst of laughter he spurted out, “It’s a stake... to kill Dracula.”
They both laughed until they could laugh no more.
Calum checked at his watch. “Well, there’s nothing we can do here today. Let’s get ye back to the hotel; we can talk more about all this over a few pints.” He said, as he jumped to his feet and secured the offices.
The drive from the offices to the hotel was short and silent.
They arranged to meet in the lounge bar at six, which gave Kevin a few hours to rest before dinner. The rain started to ease, the sky to brighten, and Kevin could see out across the golf course to the grey sea beyond. He took a deep slow breath, stretched his whole body before drawing the curtains and lying on the bed. He stared aimlessly at the ceiling, his hands tucked behind his head, his mind somewhat numb.
He woke with a start and stood up, looking around the room, feeling he was not alone. A shiver ran down his spine and his breath fogged before him. He reached over and felt the radiator. It was cold. A second shiver ran though his body which made him reach for his fleece. Zipping it up to his chin he checked for draughts around the window, but found none. He checked the radiator once more, feeling some warmth percolating through, he left the room.
After dinner, Kevin wanted to know about progress on site. The reply he got was not at all what he had expected. The construction team had spent most of the last three months securing the site. The security fencing had to be welded together, especially around the edge of the cliff. The scaffolding had to be checked every day before anyone was allowed to start any work, and the fuel store and generators were now security fenced with a mesh roof and the gates blocked using bulldozers.
“And I can almost guarantee somethin’ will either be broken into or sabotaged in some way tomorrow. It always seems to happen when we get heavy rain or fog... which we get a lot of.” Calum said.
“Why weld the fence together, aren’t the bolted clips enough.”
“They should be, but...” he thought for a moment, “the fencing at the cliff edge was found open seven times, until we welded them up.” He took a sip of his beer, “we should really weld the scaffolding, nearly every day there are clips missing from somewhere.”
“Who’s doing it?”
Calum shook his head, “Haven’t got a clue. Even put a security camera on one area. Mist rolled in, hung around for about ten minutes, when it vanished a section was gone.” After a long pause he continued. “Strange thing is, the camera just outside the office was pointing out that way and the mist was just around that one area.” He turned and smiled at Kevin. “Still got the footage. I’ll show it to ye tomorrow.”
© Neil Coulson 2013